We all understand that there will be times when we have to sacrifice, but that does not make it any easier. When we sacrifice we are giving up something we like or enjoy in order to gain greater benefit either for ourselves or others, at some later time. We are presently in a season of sacrifice as we all forgo certain freedoms in order that less harm and grief would come to the wider community. It is necessary, but it is not easy. But then no sacrifice is easy – it if were, it would not really be a sacrifice.
Just two weeks ago (although it feels like a lot longer) we celebrated Easter, which is story of the sacrifice of Jesus as an expression of his love for all of humanity. Whether we are Christians or not, the story of someone willingly dying in order to help others is uplifting.
I recently heard about an example of this in Father Giuseppe, who was a much loved priest in his mid 70s in Northern Italy. Father Giuseppe contracted COVID-19, and his village took up an offering to buy him a respirator and had it delivered to his ward. He was grateful, but declined the offer and asked that the respirator instead be given to a younger person in need. Father Giuseppe passed away, and as his casket was being taken from the hospital, his parishioners stood in tears outside their houses and clapped their beloved priest.
We will also be reminded of the meaning of sacrifice in a couple of days when our nation will stop to remember the ANZACs. A visit to the War Memorial in Canberra to see the names of all those who gave their lives for future generations – of which we are one – is both humbling and inspiring. We do indeed stand on the shoulders of people who have sacrificed much.
In a lesser way it is now our turn to make sacrifices for the good of others. A lot has changed for many of us in the past six weeks, and for some families, many aspects of life are dramatically different. We cannot be sure of how everything will pan out, but we do know that the sacrifices we make now will ensure that the future is a little brighter than it might otherwise have been. It is helpful to keep the reason for our sacrifice before us.
My prayers (and those of Janine and Scott) are with the Carey community at this difficult time. May God’s peace and comfort be your constant companions.
I conclude with a lovely definition of hope: ‘Hope is the nightingale which sings before dawn’. May you soon hear the song of the nightingale.
Grace and peace,
Senior School Chaplain